Independent Office for Police Conduct
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|Predecessor||Independent Police Complaints Commission|
|Formation||8 January 2018|
|Legal status||Non-departmental public body|
|Purpose||Complaints about the English and Welsh police forces|
|England and Wales|
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is a non-departmental public body in England and Wales which, since 8 January 2018, is responsible for overseeing the system for handling complaints made against police forces in England and Wales. Most allegations of police misconduct are investigated by police forces' own professional standards departments (with oversight by the IOPC). However the IOPC does conduct independent investigations of serious allegations of misconduct or criminal offences by police officers and other law enforcement officers. 'Mandatory' referrals are usually made to the IOPC should a person die or sustain serious injuries following police contact. Additionally, a force's professional standards department may also make a 'voluntary' referral – in which a force will ask the IOPC to consider if they wish to investigate independently, supervise a force professional standards investigation, or decline and refer the investigation back to the force to investigate without any IOPC input.
The functions of the Independent Office for Police Conduct were previously undertaken by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which was established in 2004 and abolished upon the creation of the IOPC.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct originated from the Policing and Crime Act 2017 and unlike its IPCC predecessor, does not have a commission structure and is headed by a Director General, supported by Deputies, Regional Directors and a Director for Wales. The first Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct is Michael Lockwood who was the Chief Executive of Harrow London Borough Council.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 furnished the Independent Office for Police Conduct with powers which the IPCC did not have:
- a power to initiate its own investigations without relying on a force to record and refer
- powers to determine appeals and recommend remedies
- a shortened process for deciding whether a case should go to a disciplinary hearing
In April 2017, the IPCC took over responsibility of oversight of complaints in relation to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and from 2018, the new Independent Office for Police Conduct, in certain circumstances, takes responsibility for oversight of complaints in relation to fire and rescue service personnel.
- "Becoming the IOPC | Independent Police Complaints Commission". ipcc.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
- "Referrals - Independent Office for Police Conduct" (PDF).